Lancashire nurses given award from Prime Minister for their work with youth mental health
Two men, who founded a new scheme to support youth mental health in lockdown, have been given 'Points of Light' awards, recognising volunteers making a change in their community.
Sam Tyrer, 27, and David Cottrell, 39, launched ‘Mental Health Family Hour’ at the beginning of lockdown which offered free videos discussing the mental health challenges being faced by children and families.
After difficult struggles earlier in life, Sam, from Hutton, founded the Mental Health for Schools Education Programme ‘Change Talks’ and Prevention and Engagement lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust back in 2017.
He had realised that the county some of the worst rates for suicide and that Preston had the highest rates.
And David is a Mental Health First Aider, educator and presenter who operates online under the name Mindset By Dave.
Before the national lockdown, the pair would go into five schools across Lancashire every half-term and deliver a six-week Mental Health Education Programme.
Since the start of the pandemic, the duo knew that had to continue offering school-aged children the opportunity to talk openly about their wellbeing and how to develop positive mental health, with their weekly show is now being live-streamed to students across the country.
They have now been awarded a 'Point of Light' certificate, hand-signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recognises outstanding individual volunteers and the inspirational difference they make to society.
Sam said: “When we went into lockdown, we wanted to be proactive and ensure we were offering mental health education to both pupils and their families.
"The feedback we have received from the webinars has been fantastic and we are intending to do more. We would both personally like to say thank you for this award and thank you for the support everyone has given to us.”
And colleague David added: "When we went into lockdown, Sam and I just knew we needed to do something, so we jumped right in with the Mental Health Family Hour.
"Our aim was to help as many people as possible and even though we fully believed in the material I think we were both surprised as to just how many people it reached.
"We believe this information is extremely valuable so we hope that the Points of Light Award gives it that extra seal of approval."
Both Sam and David received a signed letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, thanking them for "starting more conversations on the importance of our mental health" during difficult times.
Since it started, Mental Health Family Hour has had over 13,000 views on social media and has reached listeners tuning in across the world from Norway, Australia and America.
For further information about Mental Health Family Hour visit here.
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